Pelicans Sign Zylan Cheatham to Undrafted Free-Agent Contract After 2019 Draft

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 21, 2019

TULSA, OKLAHOMA - MARCH 22:  Zylan Cheatham #45 of the Arizona State Sun Devils dunks the ball over Nick Perkins #33 of the Buffalo Bulls during the first half of the first round game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at BOK Center on March 22, 2019 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed Arizona State junior forward Zylan Cheatham after he went undrafted in the 2019 NBA draft Thursday, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.

The big man averaged 12.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game for the Sun Devils, who reached the NCAA tournament and won their opening game against St. John's.


Cheatham's Scouting Profile (h/t B/R's Jonathan Wasserman) 

Offensive Strengths

Great athlete, high-energy off-ball player. Can impact games with his motor.


Offensive Weaknesses

Still not a shooting or strong shot-creating threat. Won't offer much in half court.


Defensive Outlook

Should be able to guard and switch onto multiple positions. Effort translates to defensive value.


Projected role: Energizer


Context and Analysis

Cheatham will bring a tremendous amount of energy to the Pelicans, which was his calling card at Arizona State en route to averaging a double-double during his junior campaign. His NBA.com draft profile states that he has a "tremendous motor and the athleticism to match."

In that sense, Cheatham could be an excellent asset for New Orleans off its bench if his team needs a jolt.

It also helps that he can stretch out opposing defenses thanks to his three-point shooting. The ex-Sun Devil made 44.0 percent of his shots beyond the arc last season.

On a team that will have a lot of new faces next year from Zion Williamson to Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, Cheatham could end up being a contributor in the Pelicans rotation in 2019-20.